Flea Day: Long Beach Heatstroke
Held every third Sunday of the month at Veterans Stadium, the Long Beach Flea Market is the best in the area. This month’s edition, however, was more trick than treat: it was too hot, too crowded, and for me, not that fun. Maybe it was because of our 8:30 a.m. late-start, which had us parking miles away … maybe it was being cheek-by-sweaty jowl with one’s fellow man and too close for comfort … maybe it was feeling the wheels of a fellow shopper’s cart rolling over one’s ankle, the unescapable chatter of chirpy BFF’s looking for flowery teacups, or the secondhand smoke … I know it wasn’t because of all the champagne with friends the night before … Okay, maybe it was because of all of those things that had me wanting to check out before I’d seen even half of the day’s offerings. So, why post about it? Well, because I did see some interesting sights … like this massive verdigris-colored toad king. Originally part of a fountain, wouldn’t he make an interesting, if cranky, water feature highlight? More … ?
From top left, clockwise: a group of six tractor-seat stools (a deal at $65 apiece, or all six for $300); sweet little succulents planted in bright-hued paint cans; an undulating, flame-like, welded metal throne; a could-easily-be-converted-into-a-potting-bench wooden crate on wheels; a shapely wooden bomb sitting on a rusted steel base (too pricey at $300, but soooo cool!); a colorful group of planters in classic shapes and colors.
Was it the heat or the hangover? Whichever, there was also lots of weirdness; from top left, clockwise:
a hypnotized, painted pussycat; an inflated-to-the-point-of-exploding humongous inner-tube; a carved Mexican mermaid with perpendicularly perched A-cups; a manic-to-the-point-of-insane, Nanette Fabray-lookalike mannequin’s bust. Usually I love all this stuff, but not today; today it was all too much.
Why anyone would gut a a mannequin torso, edge the resulting maw with faux pearls, paint the entire thing acid green, hang fishing lures inside and replace the breasts with actual piranha’s heads, is beyond me … and, maybe that’s the real reason this month’s flea rubbed me the wrong way: I was low on imagination due to all the factors mentioned at the beginning. So, did I buy anything? Of course, I did! No flea market is too crowded, no hangover so severe, that I couldn’t find something to purchase. I bought three hear/see/speak-no-evil carved monkey figures in soapstone, two distressed propane tank covers, painted red, and one sharply sun-shaped plow-thing, handsome in rust. Good stuff (see next post) … but I think I’m retiring from the LBFlea until the Fall. See you bright, early and coolly, on the third Sunday in September!